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Central Haywood Church of Christ

Serving God from the mountains of North Carolina

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Introduction to 2 John.

All four gospels describe John as a fisherman from Galilee, son of Zebedee and brother of the apostle James. The book of Acts also tells us that he is a leader of the church in Jerusalem.

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Service That Makes a Difference

Bruce Ligon

The Old Testament records a revealing statement in 2 Chronicles 17:16. It reads, “…Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to the Lord…” (NKJV). The book of 2 Chronicles is one of the least studied books in the Bible. This biblical declaration is one that is easy to miss when reading through the chapter. Yet, it brings to mind some practical applications that will benefit us as we strive to give our best efforts in the Lord’s service.

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The Ruined Loincloth.

In Jeremiah 13 there is a strange and yet, intriguing story about a loincloth. The Lord instructs the prophet to buy a new loincloth, put it on, and wear it without washing it in water. After some time, the Lord tells him to bury it in the rocks near the Euphrates River. Again, after some time has passed, he is told to dig up that old loincloth. Once Jeremiah digs it up, he describes it as “good for nothing.” After all that time buried in the dirt it was spoiled and now unfit for its intended purpose.

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Are you intolerant?

We live in a world where it is an unforgivable sin is to be intolerant of others. What is often shocking is that those same people who are quick to point out that someone is being “intolerant” are themselves incredibly intolerant of others. They seem to be tolerant of almost anything except Christian values or someone who disagrees with them. As soon as someone disagrees with their opinions or says they are a Christian they’re instantly labeled as intolerant, bigoted, racist, or legalistic.

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“Never Say Never!”

How many times have you heard that sentiment? I have often tried to follow those wise words but often I have caught myself saying those dreaded words. It never fails that eventually I will carelessly say it and it never fails, I almost immediately regret it. I have often wondered why we use such ideas and why we inevitably regret doing so. Perhaps, it has something to do with the fact that “never” carries such huge implications.

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What We Need to Succeed

Brian R. Kenyon

              Being successful in anything constructive does not just happen accidentally. Not only does being successful in a business or profession take hard work and sacrifice, other things also must fall into place, without which, success would be impossible. Being successful in the Lord is no different. Not only does it take deliberate effort and sacrifice, but success also involves the right things falling into place. Fortunately for the Christian, those necessary things falling into place are provided by the Lord. Let us consider three things that are needed in order to succeed in the sight of the Lord.

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A prayer for growth.

Eph. 3:14-19.

I am certain that you, like myself, are praying for the growth of the Lord’s church here and throughout the world. Regularly, I am praying for growth especially in the ways that the Lord wants us to grow but what is that. True growth is so much more than simply metrics like attendance numbers or contribution amounts. Real growth is growing in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). It is growing in our understanding of and imitation of Jesus (Eph. 4:15-16) in our daily lives.

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Introduction to 2 Peter.

Although it is often overlooked, 2 Peter is an important book and makes several significant contributions to the New Testament. It was written by the apostle Peter to a group of Christians who were facing increasing hardships for their faith. Interestingly, it was written as more of a farewell address (2 Peter 1:12-15) than a letter. It was as if Peter knew his time was ending and he wanted to take what time remained to reinforce the church. This letter follows a simple rhetorical style that itself is a great outline.

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The challenge of Christian growth.

One of the things I learned to enjoy in my life is my quiet time. During this time, usually the first hour of my day, I read scripture, pray, and write in a journal. My goal for this is simply to write down how I’m feeling about life, faith, and struggles, reflecting on my actions and feelings. I will write down verbatim the prayers for the Lord’s help in the areas I am struggling. I shouldn’t be but often I am surprised that during that quiet time, I find comfort and wisdom for the very things that are hurting me. I’ve come to accept that the Lord uses this time to help me reflect on His will and Word and how that should be used during the struggles.

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